Executive forced to swallow humble pie over 'illegal' public participation fora

Nakuru County Assembly Speaker Samuel Tonui (center) with Naivasha East MCA Stanley Karanja (right) flanked by other MCAs outside the assembly offices on February 18, 2019. [Kipsang Joseph/Standard]
The County Treasury has called off a forum for public participation in the 2019/20 budget-making process due to pressure from MCAs.

The forum was supposed to begin on Monday. The MCAs pointed out that the Sh20 million set aside for projects in each of the 55 wards was wrongly allocated.

The MCAs also summoned County Executive Committee Member for Finance Joseph Kiuna to tell them the way forward as far as budget-making was concerned.

“The budget-making process for the county is troubled and the allocations are questionable," said Deputy Speaker Samuel Tonui.

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"After deliberations with the Finance Executive, we have resolved that the ongoing public participation forums be suspended with immediate effect,” he said.

Mr Tonui said it was wrong for the county to conduct two public participation forums in the same financial year. He said the first forums' proposals were yet to be considered. 

Slashed allocations

“It is not clear why the executive had planned to conduct public participation forums for a second time yet the fiscal strategy paper has not been brought to the assembly," said Tonui, adding: "Most of the wards also had their allocations slashed from Sh21 million to Sh14 million.”

Immediate former majority leader Stanley Karanja faulted the Executive over delayed implementation of projects, saying a year down the line, the county had nothing to show in completed projects.

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“Majority of the projects that were passed in the previous financial year are yet to start," said Mr Karanja.

"They are only existing on paper. We have been receiving pressure from voters," he added.

Kiuna dismissed allegations that the county was planning to slash allocations in the development budget.

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public participation2019/20 budget-making processNakuru County Assembly